March 24, 2005

RCMP Closing Detachments-Porous Border, ASC, 3 1/2 Years for a Killing, Harkat-Majoub, BC Natives Blamed for Fishery Collapse, RCMP Officer's Letter &

Securities watchdog turmoil -- Alberta commission facing review, lawyer denies claims March 23, 2005, Theresa Tedesco, National Post

Senior officials at the Alberta Securities Commission interfered with enforcement cases, engaged in favouritism and condoned lewd conduct among staff, according to allegations contained in a confidential report prepared for the regulator's commissioners.

The National Post has learned that an unprecedented review into the conduct of the provincial watchdog's executive ranks, including Stephen Sibold, outgoing chair of the ASC, and David Linder, executive director, revealed a "dysfunctional" agency with questionable management practices, lax governance and a "toxic" atmosphere that contributed to staff departures in recent years.

According to sources, a detailed report prepared by prominent Calgary lawyer Perry Mack for the ASC's board of commissioners is based on claims made by a group of about six whistleblowers and supported in subsequent interviews by about 30 former and current employees. Mr. Mack, who was hired by the ASC's 12-member board of commissioners in January, tabled his findings in mid-February. [. . . . ]

Search: executive managers obstructed, Messrs. Sibold and Linder, Alan Hunter, credibility, largest oil and gas companies, tensions and resentment, teenager, lascivious e-mails, board of commissioners, human resources committee

Who would have expected serious businessmen to be so foolhardy? It reminds me of Bill Clinton who was supposed to possess enough intelligence to know that someone would squeal -- so he should have acted accordingly -- and with more intelligence in evidence.

Probe into ASC conduct -- Troubling allegations: Commission calls matters 'internal' and 'confidential' March 23, 2005, Theresa Tedesco, Chief Business Correspondent, Financial Post

[. . . . ] Yesterday, Mr. Sibold's five-year term as chair was extended to May 7, while Mr. Linder continues to operate as the regulator's chief administrative officer, a post he has held since 1997.

"Many were looking forward to the end of the Sibold era," said a source who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.

That's what prompted a group of seven senior commission employees to gather in a rented Calgary office last December. The clandestine group telephoned Thomas Cooke, an Edmonton-based commissioner and member of the ASC's audit committee, to relay their concerns. Although worried for their jobs, the group figured Mr. Cooke would have an open mind because he'd been nominated for his appointment by the provincial government, not Mr. Sibold. ASC commission members are appointed by Cabinet. [. . . . ]

Search: specific examples of enforcement files that were quashed, demanded the letter be rescinded, be nice, threats of, dole out bonuses and salary increases, inflatable sex doll, interviewed

I kid you not; there is mention of an "inflatable sex doll".

Canadian justice: "3 1/2 years for slaying" -- VICTIM'S MOM IN TEARS OVER KILLER'S TERM Jason Botchford, Toronto Sun, Mar. 23, 05

A WOODBRIDGE Mom broke down in tears yesterday after she learned her son's killer was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. "The system isn't fair. What has happened isn't fair. He took away my son," said Lucia Nardozi, whose son Marco, 23, was stabbed 20 times in Richmond Hill's Paparazzi nightclub after he tried to play peacemaker in a fight in July 2000.

Joseph Catroppa, 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given a 10-year, eight-month sentence.

He was credited seven years, two months for the 43 months he had already served in custody, using the usual two-for-one system in determining the value of pre-trial custody.

The Nardozi family said they were left shocked and heartbroken knowing that Catroppa could be a free man in 3 1/2 years. [. . . . ]

Search: PULLED A POCKET KNIFE, co-accused Vincenzo Femia

Our government and top management -- giving an image that everything's okay -- perception above all

Porous border causes concern -- Closing RCMP posts will make it easier to cross illegally, employee groups warn lawmakers Bill Curry, March 23, 2005

OTTAWA -- The president of the RCMP's unofficial union backed up allegations from customs workers yesterday of major gaps in Canada's border security, as a parliamentary committee was warned of a security "crisis" that allows hundreds of vehicles to illegally zip across the border without consequence.

The committee was told that the RCMP shutting down nine posts in Quebec will further compromise security, forcing U.S. agents to pick up the slack.

The warnings came from Ron Moran, president of the Customs Excise Union, and Staff Sergeant Gaetan Delisle, president of the RCMP members association, which operates as a union but is not legally recognized.

At issue is the closing of nine RCMP detachments along the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec and what the two groups describe as a lack of resources at the border.
Faced with outcries from affected communities, the Commons justice committee studied the detachment closings and issued a report in December calling for them not to go ahead. [. . . . ]

Search: surprised to see the RCMP proceed with, 1,600 vehicles, grow-ops, RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, Conservative MP Peter MacKay challenged Commissioner Zaccardelli, Liberal MP Denis Paradis

PM no help in border spat, Klein says in Washington Paul Koring, Mar. 23, 05

WASHINGTON -- Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, an unabashed admirer of U.S. President George W. Bush, travelled to Washington yesterday and left little doubt that he considers Prime Minister Paul Martin part of the problem in getting the border reopened to Canadian beef exports.

Mr. Martin's flip-flop on missile defence, his vocal opposition to oil drilling on Alaska's North Slope and his generally cool relationship with Mr. Bush's administration has made Alberta's problems harder to solve, Mr. Klein said. [. . . . ]

High-definition TV perhaps too close up and personal for some celebrities Misty Harris, CanWest, March 23, 2005

[. . . . ] This week, a TV industry analyst is naming names with a Top-10 list of celebrities who look "like eight miles of bad road" when viewed through high-resolution technology.[. . . . ]

One of the aspects of British drama that I have always appreciated is that its stars may be older and show their age. They look real. Spare me the plastic faces of women whose faces have been worked on in a vain attempt to look young. Does anyone agree? No wonder women get their faces fixed; they are surfeited with images of young women in the media, in news and in films. Why? Some of the loveliest faces I have seen lately sat under gray hair. Some simply looked knowing and lively.

Think of the women in news programs. Age might confer a bit of gravitas. Personally, I like a face that looks as though its owner has lived. Shouldn't our faces say something besides "I could afford a plastic surgeon"?

'Terrorist' ordered deported -- Harkat headed for Algeria, while Mahjoub fights for release from jail

OTTAWA - Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat faces deportation to his native Algeria after a Federal Court judge yesterday endorsed the government's opinion that he is a terrorist who poses a threat to national security.

Judge Eleanor Dawson ruled that two federal Cabinet ministers made a reasonable decision in December, 2002, when they concluded that Harkat was a member of al-Qaeda, the world's foremost terrorist organization. [. . . . ]

Search: sworn testimony, now assess whether he faces a significant risk of, Zubayda, Mohamed Mahjoub, refugee claimant, Vanguards of Conquest, slated for deportation

B.C. natives blamed for fisheries collapse March 23, 2005, Peter O'Neil, CanWest

OTTAWA - Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan said yesterday he will consider taking action in response to a scathing report that says Ottawa bungled the 2004 Fraser River salmon fishery crisis largely because bureaucrats are intimidated by native fishermen.

The House of Commons fisheries committee report concluded the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is turning a blind eye to poaching and illegal sales by native fishermen, one of the reasons cited for the disastrous disappearance of some 1.6 million sockeye salmon last summer.

"We believe that they're afraid of violent confrontation," said Liberal MP Tom Wappel, chairman of the all-party committee that issued the report. [. . . . ]

Search: B.C.'s Cheam band, commercial fishing fleet

I have always thought that the statements affirming that the natives were stewards of the land deserved a bit of research into the facts. I suspect that, like the rest of us, there are good and bad, fine stewards of the land and those who would bear watching.

It's the Charter, stupid -- except when it isn't March 23, 2005, Joseph Couture, National Post

In his recent upbeat speech to Liberal conventioneers, Paul Martin proudly proclaimed his party the eternal champion of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to the Prime Minister, the document "embodies the Liberal view of respect for the dignity of every individual."

But apparently, there are a few exceptions.

Take, for example, widowed gays such as George Hislop. [. . . . ]

The government does currently grant same-sex survivor pensions to widowed gays, but only if their partners died on or after Jan. 1, 1998. [. . . . ]

International Royalty completes offering, acquires Voisey's Bay Royalty March 23, 2005, Lexpert

Lexpert, Canada's business magazine for lawyers, summarizes the nation's biggest corporate transactions and identifies the legal teams that helped put the deals together.

On Feb. 22, 2005, International Royalty Corp., a mining royalty interest company, completed an initial public offering of 34,883,721 common shares for gross proceeds of approximately $150-million and a private placement offering of units consisting of common shares and debentures for gross proceeds of $30-million. Haywood Securities Inc. and GMP Securities Ltd. co-led a syndicate of agents that included Canaccord Capital Corp., Raymond James Ltd., Salman Partners Inc. and Bolder Investment Partners, Ltd.

Concurrent with the offerings, International Royalty completed the acquisition of all of the shares of Archean Resources Ltd., a private company that indirectly holds an effective 2.7% net smelter return interest in the Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt project in Labrador. Other royalty interests were also acquired. [. . . . ]

There is much more if you look.

The phantom childhood obesity epidemic

[. . . . ] But even if there were an epidemic of childhood obesity, the science fails to support the idea that it is caused by junk food available in schools. For instance, a number of studies have shown that sugar intake does not cause type 2 diabetes or obesity. Indeed, several studies have suggested that glucose intake might actually inhibit food intake.

A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity by six Harvard researchers that looked at the eating and physical activity habits of 14,000 U.S. children aged 9-14 over a three-year period found that so-called junk food does not lead to obesity among children. However snack food was defined, with or without soft drinks, the researchers were unable to find a link between these foods and childhood obesity. [. . . . ]

If we really want to do something about our supposedly overweight children, rather than taking something out of the schools we should instead be putting something like physical activity back into them.

I find this report suspect -- just from looking at the young. I like the idea of getting rid of deep fried and other junk food and junk drinks like soft drinks in the schools, just from the point of view of providing healthy foods at school; then get students active for an hour a day. Sometimes, it is physical education that keeps the indifferent students working and trying to finish high school, as well. Our children need to be more active -- as do we.

Jack's Newswatch: Special E-Mail From A Fellow Officer -- from an RCMP officer.

When I accessed my mail this morning at work I found this message. It's worth passing on to people because it's sincere. While directed to all "working cops", it should receive a much wider audience:

It Has To Be Said

It just has to be said!

Things I feel that I must say in the light of the recent assassination of four of my brothers. First I must state that these are my personal views and are not necessarily the views of the RCMP or any governments I serve.

Before I start I would like to qualify myself, my back ground and training.

I have been a very proud member of the RCMPolice for the past 15 years serving in rural Alberta. [. . . . ]

Read the whole thing; pay particular attention to what he says about the following search terms.

Search: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our justice system, legal interpretations, drug dealers, rapists and psychopaths

You will also find a link to this.

Officer Safety--Automatic Glock Pistol Video

HINT: Video may be delayed and "choppy" when first viewed. Let video play completely through then click the play button on the media player to view the video again. The 2nd time through should play through without hesitating

Read the rest, as well.


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